Opinion Editorials, March 2004, www.aljazeerah.info




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The Acceptable Length of Beard

Adil Salahi

Arab News, 3/15/04

Q. Now that I am wearing a beard, my friends insist that I should not trim it until it is fully grown, to a fist’s length. Could you please explain whether they are right, or it is possible to wear a short beard?


A. To wear a beard is a Sunnah. The Prophet says: “Do unlike the Jews, and spare your beards and trim your moustaches.” Scholars have explained that although the instruction is given in the form of an order, this aspect of appearance instructions should be taken as recommendations, not obligations. Some people, however, take it as a universal order and insist that sparing the beard means leaving it to grow without any trimming.

This is contrary to other Hadiths and to the practice of the Muslims ever since the early days of Islam. The Prophet says: “Whoever has hair should take good care of it.” The length of the beard is not an issue. Those who claim that it should be long do not have any strong evidence to support their view.

Besides, when they speak of a “fist length” they now demonstrate it to mean the hair of the beard should be that length, beginning from the bottom of one’s chin. Scholars of repute indicate that the fist length starts with the top of the chin, meaning that the chin with the hair of the beard should be covered when one holds one’s chin with one’s hand. This gives a beard length of no more than 3-4 centimeters. Even if one wears it shorter, or very short, one is deemed to have complied with the Sunnah, since the Prophet has not indicated any length.





Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers (Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

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